Grand slam legend Boris Becker has recently made certain remarks about Rafael Nadal after his quarterfinals loss in the Australian Open 2021.
But before we get to that let’s take a brief look at Becker’s achievements, his Grand Slam singles titles included three Wimbledon titles, two Australian Opens, and one US Open. He also won three year-end championships, 13 Masters Series titles, and an Olympic gold medal in doubles. In 1989, he was voted the Player of the Year by both the ATP and the ITF.
He was the first male player to appear in the 7 Wimbledon finals, tied with Pete Sampras (7) behind Roger Federer (12). Also, He was world No.1 for 12 weeks.
Boris Becker calls Rafael Nadal ‘vulnerable’
Nadal lost out in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open to Stefanos Tsitsipas despite taking a two-set lead early on. The Spaniard is usually as ruthless as they come at closing out matches from a winning position. Yet he seemed to struggle to maintain his physicality in Melbourne.
That was something we have not really seen before from Nadal, and it’s something that Grand Slam legend Becker is concerned about.
“There was definitely some vulnerability in Nadal if we think forward to Paris,” Becker wrote for the Mail.
“His five-set defeat by Stefanos Tsitsipas will sting for some time, and could even be a factor at the French Open. For the first time I can recall Rafael Nadal looked really tired in that fifth set, he was beaten physically, and the others will have seen that,” he added.
“The Spaniard’s style is so physical that it is going to take a toll. I am actually surprised that he has played to this incredibly high level for so long. While it would be foolish to bet against him for Paris, when he gets that little step slower he will not be the same player,” he further wrote.
Rafael Nadal is known as the king of clay due to his heroics at the French Open. So only time will tell if his performance at the Australian Open 2021 is indicative of something.